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Two men appear in court for assaulting their wives over the weekend

American Samoa District Court building
Both women claim that accusations of extramarital affairs sparked the violence

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Police from the DPS Tafuna Substation arrested two men during the weekend. Both are alleged to have assaulted their wives.

The first incident happened in Malaeimi while the other was reported from Tafuna, both happened on Sunday night.

The two men made their initial appearances yesterday morning in District Court where Judge Fiti Sunia released one man on his own recognizance while the other was remanded to custody on a $300 bond.

Each man is being charged with public peace disturbance and third degree assault, both class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of $1,000 — or both.


Around 10:30p.m. Sunday night, a woman called the Tafuna Police Substation for assistance, after hearing someone yelling profanities from inside a neighboring house. After she contacted authorities, the woman walked to her neighbor's house to see what was going on.

The officers arrived shortly thereafter and a woman, who was later identified as the victim in this case, walked outside and spoke to police about what happened.

According to the victim, she and her husband — who was drinking — were in the middle of a conversation when something was said that set her husband off.

The victim claims that her husband cussed at her and accused her of using him to feed her family, although he understands that she is having an affair with a bus driver.

The victim told police that as she was trying to calm her husband down, he started throwing punches at her — on her sides and finally to her facial area — all the while, he continued to get louder with the profanity.

According to the court affidavit, the defendant fled the house when police arrived. After speaking with the victim, investigators informed her to contact their office immediately if her husband returns home. Around 11:50p.m., while a police unit was patrolling the area, cops noticed someone trying to hide from their vehicle.

When they went to check the area, they found a male — later identified as the defendant — with a beer bottle in his hand. The man was apprehended and taken into custody.

Officers claim they could smell alcohol coming from the defendant before they handcuffed him and put him into the police unit.

According to officers, while en route to the Tafuna substation, the man was mumbling that he did not like his wife’s behavior of trying to use him and his money to feed her family while he heard rumors from people that his wife is having an affair with a bus driver.

The defendant allegedly told police that he and his wife are in the middle of a divorce and the case is in the High Court right now. Furthermore, he said he wants to move out and live his own life, or otherwise return to his family in Samoa.

Sunia ordered the defendant to stay away from his wife and never try to have direct or indirect contact with her at any time. If he encounters her in public, it’s his duty to walk away from her peacefully.

After yesterday's hearing, the defendant was released on his own recognizance to await his pretrial conference which is set for Sept. 18, 2018 at 9a.m.


The incident in Tafuna happened around 7:21p.m. Sunday night when the defendant allegedly assaulted his wife inside their vehicle parked in a restaurant parking lot.

The man allegedly pushed his wife's face twice before the woman became angry, exited the vehicle, and contacted police for help.

According to the victim, the incident occurred inside their vehicle while they were going to visit a friend. The victim told police it was her husband who started the verbal argument, when he mentioned something about her going out with another man.

She said she tried to explain — but her husband didn't want to hear it.

He then allegedly pulled their vehicle into a restaurant parking lot in Tafuna and  assaulted her.

When asked by police, the defendant admitted that he assaulted his wife and immediately begged for a chance to allow him to go home. However, for the safety of the victim, the defendant was booked and confined at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) to await the next sitting of District Court, which was yesterday morning.

After his initial appearance, the defendant was remanded to custody until he posts a $300 bond, subject to the condition that he remain a law abiding citizen, be drug and alcohol free, and refrain from any direct or indirect contact with his wife.

The defendant is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 18 for his pretrial conference.